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(1) A document attesting to some fact, such as the seaworthiness of a ship or an individual’s inoculations prior to travel abroad.
(2) The name of a special state loan bond, such as a certificate of a state workers’ savings bank issued in the USSR in 1927.
(3) An insurance certificate, a document outlining the conditions of an insurance agreement and taking the place of an insurance policy.
(4) In foreign trade, a certificate of quality, a document issued by competent authorities to certify the quality of merchandise. In the USSR certificates of quality are issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
(svidetel’stvo), in the USSR, a document that certifies some legal fact, for example, a birth or a divorce. The certificate attests only to legal facts that must be confirmed according to some law or juridical document. The form and requisites of the certificate are established by a special juridical document, and failure to observe them may lead to the legal invalidation of the certificate. The content of the certificate may be disputed only in court. In some cases, a certificate may have a special name, for example, diplom (certificate issued to the holder of an academic degree) or attestat dotsenta (attestation issued to the holder of the rank of docent).
(Russian udostoverenie), a document certifying specific facts or rights, for example, that travel is on official business or that the bearer holds the right to vote. Certificates are printed on standard forms, signed by authorized officials, and confirmed with a seal. Certain certificates require a photograph of the bearer. Soviet legislation (for example, art. 196 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR) establishes criminal responsibility for the forging of a certificate for the purpose of obtaining rights or a release from duties established by the government.